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Archive for the ‘salaries and wages’ Category

Changes in Income Reported on Federal Tax Returns

January 29, 2015 Comments off

Changes in Income Reported on Federal Tax Returns
Source: Tax Policy Center (Brookings Institution and Urban Institute)

The composition of reported income has changed markedly since 1952. Investment income has continued to grow, along with business income, interrupted only by periodic economic downturns. Meanwhile, salaries and wages have declined as a share of income.

An Analysis of the Labor Market for Uber’s Driver – Partners in the United States

January 29, 2015 Comments off

An Analysis of the Labor Market for Uber’s Driver – Partners in the United States (PDF)
Source: Uber

This paper provides the first comprehensive analysis of Uber’s driver – partners, based on both survey data and anonymized, aggregated administrative data. Uber has grown at an exponential rate over the last few years, and drivers who partner with Uber appear to be attracted to the platform in large part because of the flexibility it offers, the level of compensation, and the fact that earnings per hour do not vary much with hours worked, which facilitates part – time and variable hours. Uber’s driver – partners are more similar in terms of their age and education to the general workforce than to taxi drivers and chauffeurs. Uber may serve as a bridge for many seeking other employment opportunities, and it may attract well – qualified individuals because, with Uber’s star rating system, driver – partners’ reputations are explicitly shared with potential customers. Most of Uber’s driver – partners had full – or part – time employment prior to joining Uber, and many continued in those positions after starting to drive with the Uber platform, which makes the flexibility to set their own hours all th e more valuable. Uber’s driver – partners also often cited the desire to smooth fluctuations in their income as a reason for partnering with Uber .

Offshoring, Low-Skilled Immigration, and Labor Market Polarization

January 27, 2015 Comments off

Offshoring, Low-Skilled Immigration, and Labor Market Polarization
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

During the last three decades, jobs in the middle of the skill distribution disappeared, and employment expanded for high- and low-skill occupations. Real wages did not follow the same pattern. Although earnings for the high-skill occupations increased robustly, wages for both low- and middle-skill workers remained subdued. We attribute this outcome to the rise in offshoring and low-skilled immigration, and we develop a three-country stochastic growth model to rationalize this outcome. In the model, the increase in offshoring negatively affects the middle-skill occupations but benefits the high-skill ones, which in turn boosts aggregate productivity. As the income of high-skill occupations rises, so does the demand for services provided by low-skill workers. However, low-skill wages remain depressed as a result of the surge in unskilled immigration. Native workers react to immigration by upgrading the skill content of their labor tasks as they invest in training.

A $15 U.S. Minimum Wage: How the Fast-Food Industry Could Adjust Without Shedding Jobs

January 23, 2015 Comments off

A $15 U.S. Minimum Wage: How the Fast-Food Industry Could Adjust Without Shedding Jobs
Source: Political Economy Research Institute

This paper considers the extent to which U.S. fast-food businesses could adjust to an increase in the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 per hour to $15 an hour without having to resort to reducing their workforces. We consider this issue through a set of simple illustrative exercises, whereby the U.S. raises the federal minimum wage in two steps over four years, first to $10.50 within one year, then to $15 after three more years. We conclude that the fast-food industry could absorb the increase in its overall wage bill without resorting to cuts in their employment levels at any point over this four-year adjustment period. Rather, we find that the fast-food industry could fully absorb these wage bill increases through a combination of turnover reductions; trend increases in sales growth; and modest annual price increases over the four-year period. Working from the relevant existing literature, our results are based on a set of reasonable assumptions on fast-food turnover rates; the price elasticity of demand within the fast-food industry; and the underlying trend for sales growth in the industry. We also show that fast-food firms would not need to lower their average profit rate during this adjustment period. Nor would the fast-food firms need to reallocate funds generated by revenues away from any other area of their overall operations, such as marketing.

Prosperity Undermined: Fast-Tracked Trade Agreements’ 20-Year Record of Massive U.S. Trade Deficits, American Job Loss and Wage Suppression

January 22, 2015 Comments off

Prosperity Undermined: Fast-Tracked Trade Agreements’ 20-Year Record of Massive U.S. Trade Deficits, American Job Loss and Wage Suppression (PDF)
Source: Public Citizen
From press release:

Fast Tracked trade deals have exacerbated the income inequality crisis, pushed good American jobs overseas, driven down U.S. wages, exploded the trade deficit and diminished small businesses’ share of U.S. exports, a new report from Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch shows. The report, “Prosperity Undermined,”compiles and analyzes 20 years of trade and economic data to show that the arguments again being made in favor of providing the Obama administration with Fast Track trade authority have repeatedly proved false.

Highlights of women’s earnings in 2013 (December 2014)

January 13, 2015 Comments off

Highlights of women’s earnings in 2013 (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

In 2013, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $706. On average in 2013, women made 82 percent of the median weekly earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers ($860). In 1979, the first year for which comparable earnings data are available, women earned 62 percent of what men earned.

Why Has Urban Inequality Increased?

January 8, 2015 Comments off

Why Has Urban Inequality Increased? (PDF)
Source: Brown University (and others)

The increase in wage inequality since 1980 in the United States has been more pronounced in larger cities, even after accounting for differences in the composition of the workforce across locations. Using Census of Population and Census of Manufacturers data aggregated to the local labor market level, this paper examines the importance of changes in the factor bias of agglomeration economies, capital-skill complementarity, changes in the relative supply of skilled labor, and mutual interactions for understanding the more rapid increases in wage inequality in larger cities between 1980 and 2007. Parameter estimates of a production function that incorporates each of these mechanisms indicate strong evidence of capital-skill complementarity, increasing skill bias of agglomeration economies and declining capital bias of agglomeration economies. Immigration shocks serve as a source of exogenous variation across metropolitan areas in changes to the relative supply of skilled labor versus unskilled labor. The direct relative demand effects of the changing factor biases of agglomeration economies rationalize 77-82 percent of the more rapid increases in wage inequality in more populous local labor markets. Interactions between capital-skill complementarity and changes in the factor bias of agglomeration economies have generated outward and inward shifts in the relative demand for skilled labor in larger cities that approximately offset.

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